There are many benefits to both running alone and with others. If you are just getting into running, you might ask yourself which is best for me? Personally, I like both and which I decide to do depends largely on my mood and goals of the day. So here is my list of benefits for both sides. You may have more of your own to add.
- I pick and choose the run: when I want, where I want.
- Time to get lost in my thoughts, work out a problem in my head or zone out from the chaotic world around me.
- Opportunity to personally challenge myself when no one else is watching–it’s also good practice for race day when you most likely will not have your running buddy beside you.
- Go at my own pace–sometimes I don’t want to worry about the speed at which I am running which might be a factor with others who are slower or faster than me.
- Personal self-fulfillment when I finish that first race all on my own.
Running with a Buddy:
- I learned how to carry on a conversation while I run which is cool once I mastered not getting winded.
- Accountable to someone else = more motivation on the cold, winter mornings; hot summer days; and long training runs. Easy to bail on yourself but not on a friend.
- Safety in numbers.
- Built-in cheerleader to help when I am ready to quit the run.
- Opportunity to stretch my limits by running with a faster person.
- Opportunity to help a slower person improve their times.
- Social hour!
- Save money–Just think, choosing to go for a jog with a friend twice a week instead of going out to dinner with her saves me $20-$40 or more very easily.
The beauty of running is that, in many ways, it can be viewed as both a solo and team sport. I think you’ll see that there are benefits in going both directions and taking the opportunity to do some runs alone and others with running partners. Have fun and appreciate each way of enjoying the sport.